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Vegan food pyramid: This is what it looks like!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 233 views

Lots of plant-based foods and legumes: The vegan food pyramid offers orientation for people who eat an animal-free diet. She shows how vegans can eat a wholesome diet without slipping into malnutrition. Read here which products the vegan food pyramid regularly puts on the menu, which are the most important vegetable protein sources and which needs vegan nutrition cannot cover.

Fruit (two servings a day) and vegetables (three servings a day) provide vitamins, fiber, phytochemicals and minerals. However, dried fruit or juices in particular also contain a lot of sugar, which is why the recommendation is to eat them only in small amounts. Consume mainly fresh food.

Cereals & Potatoes

Grains and potatoes are important components of the vegan food pyramid – up to three portions of these should be consumed daily. They are an important source of protein for vegans, as they do not have other sources such as meat and dairy products. When it comes to cereals, whole grain products are considered particularly good because they contain complex carbohydrates and keep you full for a long time.

Legumes and other protein sources

Legumes such as peas, lentils, beans, but also soy products (e.g. tofu, seitan or tempeh ) belong on the plate of vegans once a day. Because they are an important source of protein. This is where the vegan food pyramid differs from the classic one.

Plant milk and yoghurt and cheese substitutes made from soy, grain or nuts are also good. They provide protein and calcium – according to Vebu’s recommendation, you can take one to three servings of them a day.

Learn more about legumes and plant milks here .

nuts & fats

One or two handfuls of nuts and seeds are also part of the daily meal. Among other things, they contain valuable essential fatty acids and vitamins. You can eat them pure or as a puree. Another source of fatty acids are vegetable oils and fats.

Sweets & Alcohol

Strictly speaking, these foods are not part of a healthy diet. As a small reward, however, they are occasionally allowed in the vegan food pyramid.


Drinking enough is the basis of the vegan food pyramid, i.e. 1.5 to 2 liters per day. Namely calorie-free and low-sugar drinks – preferably water and unsweetened teas.


According to the World Health Organization, regular exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. A guideline is 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate or vigorous exercise per week. That’s about 21 minutes a day.

Important nutrients in a vegan diet

The current state of science is that a balanced vegan diet almost completely covers the nutritional requirements. However, it is not possible to get enough vitamin B12 from a purely plant-based diet. It also requires a little more attention to the following vitamins and trace elements, which are difficult to get from plant-based foods.


Iodine regulates the functions of the thyroid and various metabolic functions. It is contained, for example, in marine animals. In order to prevent an undersupply, vegans are recommended to salt with table salt containing iodine and to enrich their diet with Norialgen. In consultation with a doctor, supplementation with iodine can also be useful.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is not only a critical nutrient with regard to the vegan food pyramid. Because there are not many foods that contain the vitamin. Vitamin D-rich foods for a vegan food pyramid are, for example, appropriately fortified vegetable margarine and some edible mushrooms – such as mushrooms and chanterelles.

What also helps: go out in the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Then the body produces vitamin D itself.

Learn more about foods with vitamin D here .


Iron is important for cell formation and respiration – and is found in large quantities in meat. But there are also meatless alternatives: The vegan food pyramid therefore contains iron-rich foods such as legumes, nuts and certain types of vegetables and fruit such as spinach and berries.

Learn more about iron-rich foods here .

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is particularly important for the formation of red blood cells and the functioning of the nervous system. It is difficult for vegans to absorb this vitamin, which is found almost exclusively in animal-based foods. In addition to natural vitamin B12 sources such as spirulina algae, the vegan food pyramid must be expanded to include food supplements.

Find out more about foods with vitamin B12 here .

Vegan food pyramid: conclusion

The vegan food pyramid is a scientifically up-to-date nutrition concept for people who want to eat animal-free without risking deficiencies. If you follow the recommendations of the vegan food pyramid, you should get all the necessary micro and macronutrients despite not eating animal products. But with one exception: vitamin B12. This is only found in significant amounts in animal foods and should therefore be taken in addition to the recommendations of the vegan food pyramid .

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